Attractions in Volcanoes National Park

Kilauea Visitor's Center and Thomas A. Jaggar Museum
The first thing you should do when visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is check out the Kilauea Visitor's Center and Thomas A. Jaggar Museum. At the visitor's center, you can view a film that welcomes and introduces you to the park. You can talk with rangers and see if there are any guided activities you can participate in. Grab your maps and get updated on the eruption status. The Jaggar Museum teaches visitors about the science of volcanology, as well as the history of the park.

Thurston Lava Tube
Take a walk through the Thurston Lava Tube. A remnant of an eruption from 500 years ago, the lava tube was formed by a river of lava that slowly shaped into walls and a ceiling. The Thurston Lava Tube is one of the larger lava caves in Hawaii. The first segment of the cave is easy to walk on and lit with electric lights, however if you bring flashlights and go slowly, you can walk through the back portion, which is unlit and more uneven. When you emerge from the lava tube, you find yourself in the middle of the tropical forest.

Pu'u O'o Vent
The Pu'u O'o Vent is where most of Kilauea's activity has been centered in the past few years. Rather than erupting from the center of the volcano, the lava flows out the side into the ocean. This marvelous sight is best seen at dusk and can be viewed from a number of locations, but the best view can be gotten by driving down the Chain of Craters Road. The lava crosses the road at the end. You can also view the lava from the Kalapana lookout site. Bring a jacket as it gets surprisingly cold at night, even with the heat of the volcano.

Volcano Art Center
For a bit of rest in between hikes, check out the Volcano Art Center. It has a coffee shop and beautiful gardens to stroll through. The gallery showcases local artists and offers pieces for every budget. From paintings to sculptures to jewelry to photography, all kinds of artwork is on display and for sale here. You can also chat with the owners and some of the artists whose work is displayed.

Kilauea Iki Trail
Wear your good walking shoes and bring plenty of water to hike the Kilauea Iki Trail. Unlike most other hiking experiences, the Kilauea Iki Trail is a four-mile trek across ancient lava rock, around the rim of the crater and then down into the crater itself. The hike is easy enough for families and those without a lot of hiking experience to enjoy, but the terrain and surroundings are novel enough to delight even the most seasoned hiker.